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[contents] FEATURES

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Generation Overload

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A look at what each generation brings to the workplace.

Got Sizzle?

Check out ways that local businesses make their business sizzle and set themselves apart from the competition.

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Topeka Auto Dealers Drive Forward

From bailouts to clunkers, Topeka auto dealers tell the story.

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Sorry, You’ve Been Declined

New overdraft protection regulations - what consumers and businesses have to say.

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Credit Card Regulations

A snapshot of the new Truth in Lending regulations designed to protect consumers.

A Look Back at Menninger

In Every Issue

Columns

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By the Numbers Local, regional and national news and statistics. Help Desk You have questions, Topeka experts have the answers. For Your Health: Losing Weight and Keeping it Off Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution offers these seven secrets to losing weight and keeping it off.

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Scene About Town Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI)

Downtown Topeka

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Two Topeka Collegiate eighth graders provide a glimpse at Menninger history and win awards doing so.

American Business Women’s Association (ABWA)

Extra, Extra! News and updates about Topeka businesses. Top 10: Negotiation Tips Improve your negotiating tactics by following these simple tips.

Business Toolbox: What “Techs” You Off Tim Kolling brings you tips and tools to help your business grow.

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Tough Love with Raubin & Megan Raubin Pierce talks to TK about the changing demands of media.

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Champions of Character: Kevin Doel highlights Vance Allen for his passion to stand as a Patriot Guard Rider. Branding Topkea Historian Deb Goodrich tells the stories of Topeka’s business beginnings. The Joyful Cynic & The Unapologetic Optimist Sharon DuBois and Lisa Loewen discuss the privacy of loyalty cards – another look at generational differences.

Last Word: Rick Kendall TK highlights Rick Kendall, owner of Kendall Construction

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Photo by Lock Photography

[from the publisher]

Don’t Be Defined All this talk about generations has had me thinking about all the people, young and old that have brought their knowledge, their experiences and their values to my table to help me grow and improve. I am blessed with Xers that help me define my business; Boomers who give me advice and encouragement from their own experiences and knowledge; and Millennials that remind me that if I am not moving forward, I am already behind. But it doesn’t come down to generation definitions; it comes down to values, morals and work ethic. It comes down to what a person does with the hand they are given. These are the pieces that truly define what each one of us brings to the table.

TK

Topeka’s Business Magazine Volume 4 i Issue 4 Summer 2010

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief TARA DIMICK

Founder KEVIN DOEL

Creative Director JENNI MONHOLLON TALON COMMUNICATIONS

Writing Director LISA LOEWEN

Account Executives Tara Dimick, Kevin Doel, Ed Swift

Contributing Writers & Columnists

Karen Ridder, Lisa Loewen, Ellen Jensen, Tim Kolling, Raubin Pierce, Kevin Doel, Deb Goodrich, Sharon DuBois

Cover Photographer rachel Lock

Take a moment to think of just two people that you have learned from and grown because of. Maybe you never thought of them as a mentor, maybe you never acknowledged it, but the thought will bring a smile to your face and a memory to your heart.

Photographers Rachel lock and Ditmer Digital & Design

On the Cover

To my mentors, role models and friends, both those that know how much I appreciate your help and those that may never know how much I have learned and grown from my time with you…thank you, you have impacted me many times over. Be more than your generation definition. Learn from all the generations, pay attention to people that inspire you, listen to others’ experiences. Don’t be defined… Define Yourself .

Marvin Spees, Amber Gentry, Alissa Sheley PO Box 67272 | Topeka, Kansas 66667 785-217-4836 | editor@tkmagazine.com www.tkmagazine.com

Comments & Suggestions Editor@tkmagazine.com

Publishing Company E2 Communications, Inc

Tara Dimick

2010© TK is published and copyrighted by E2 Communications, Inc. Reproduction or use of this publication in any manner without written permission of the publisher is prohibited.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -- Lao Tzu 4

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TK Magazine

Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication as of press time. The publisher assumes no responsibility of any part for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions there in. E2 Communications, Inc makes no endorsement, representation or warranty regarding any goods or services advertised or listed in this publication. Listings and advertisements are provided by the subject companies, E2 Communications, Inc shall not be responsible or liable for any inaccuracy, omission or infringement of any third party’s right therein, or for personal injury or any other damage or injury whatsoever. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement.


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[by the numbers] 1991

2010

25

Ed Bozarth Chevrolet celebrates 25 years in business.

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3 small businesses have been honored with the Chamber/Go Topeka 2010 Small Business of the Year Award. TK congratulates Six Auto Sales, Schwerdt Design Group, and Lower Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

GreatLife Golf & Fitness announces 2 more locations added to the GreatLife family of golf courses and fitness centers.

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by the numbers

TIDBITS

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The creator of the NIKE Swoosh symbol was paid only $35 for the design.

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Walt Disney World generates about 120,000 pounds of garbage every day.

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of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts. Information from www.funfactz.com


Topeka’s Highest Rated Hospital

Top 5% in Nation for Second Consecutive Year

St. Francis Health Center ranks among hospitals in the top 5 percent nationally in clinical excellence for 2009 and 2010, according to HealthGrades, a national health care ratings organization. The clinical excellence rating looks at mortality and complication rates among Medicare patients across 26 procedures and diagnoses, from heart attacks to total knee replacement. According to HealthGrades, St. Francis Health Center patients who have procedures done at St. Francis are 27 percent less likely to die and 8 percent less likely to incur a major complication. Outstanding care includes: Cardiac, Critical Care, Gastrointestinal Services (number one in Kansas), Orthopedic Services and Pulmonary.

1700 SW 7th Street, Topeka, Kansas | 785-295-8000 | www.stfrancistopeka.org MISSION STATEMENT | We will, in the spirit of the Sisters of Charity, reveal God’s healing love by improving the health of the individuals and communities we serve, especially those who are poor or vulnerable.

Summer 2010

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[business toolbox]

What “TECHS” you off? Do you have pet peeves in the workplace?

Do people do things in business meetings that drive you crazy? I can think of several things other people do that drive me nuts, so I decided to ask my clients about what ticked them off in a business setting. The most common answer? People who cannot stay off of their high tech gadgets. Topping the list were cell phones ringing during meetings. In our office you have to pay $1 if your phone goes off in a meeting. Phones have a vibrate mode for a reason. I sat and watched two people having a working lunch a while back. They had papers laid out all over the table, BUT they spent more time looking at their Smart phones than they did looking at each other or the materials in front of them. It makes you wonder if they would have accomplished more if they had just stayed at their offices and texted each other. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting e-mail and texts on my phone, but it still boils down to common courtesy and respect. You know…the stuff our parents and grandparents taught us.

• Look someone in the eye when they talk to you. • Give a firm handshake. • Listen more than you talk. We need to put people before our PDAs. When you are meeting with someone, holster your phone and focus on what’s important—the person across from you. Tim Kolling has over 16 years in the advertising industry and currently works for 580 AM and 94.5 FM

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by TIM KOLLING

TOP 5 PET PEEVES

5.

A customer getting on their cell phone when you are talking to them.

4.

Co-workers who place personal phone calls and play online, and then complain that they have so much to do.

A receptionist on the phone 3. or computer that ignores you until they are done. unprepared for the 2. Someone meeting they scheduled. Negative co-workers who 1. can point out others’ faults, but cannot see their own. Taken from the TK Survey 251 responses from Topeka business professionals.


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Summer 2010

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H G TOU Love Love them or hate them, they get Topeka talking. TK talks with Raubin Pierce how technology is changing media.

TK:

Every time we turn around we hear about new technology that allows us to get more information, quicker and in a more convenient way. What is the biggest change technology has had on media?

R:

New technology has fundamentally changed how we put out data and how we receive it. This evolving technology has flipped the paradigm on how information is delivered. It used to be that we had an appointment with our media to find out what we wanted to know. We would wait each morning for the newspaper to find out what happened the day before. We would listen to news on the radio or turn our televisions on for the nightly news at 6:00 or 10:00. Now, appointments with media are no longer necessary. We are constantly “tuned in” through the Internet and our smart phones so we can get news and information any time of day or night in almost any format we want.

TK: R:

Are these changes good or bad for the quality of journalism?

While access to information on demand is a nice concept, it has had an adverse effect on journalism. The news cycle has become too fast. We get through one story and the next minute we are on to a different story without really fleshing out the issues involved in the first story. We have in effect gotten rid of the gatekeepers. The old rule of journalism used to be “Be right, not first.” Now the

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rule seems to be “Be first and hope you are right.” Too many times journalists allow misinformation to be disseminated because they don’t take the time to double check the facts.

TK: R:

How has technology changed “On the Other Hand?”

TK: R:

What do you think media will look like 20 years from now?

Radio talk shows have always been “social media.” As a self proclaimed nerd, I’ve been an early adopter of most forms of technology. We are incredibly plugged in on the show. Our website and blog have always been the central location for the show, but you can find us other places as well. We are on Facebook and Twitter. We have a texting club and a live chat as well. I am amazed at the number of people who are on the live chat. People who have never met before have left cyberspace and are meeting in the real world to chat over lunch. Our goal is to put more content out there for people to consume on their own time frame.

What generation of the brain implant will we be on at that point? It scares me to even think about it. Twenty years is the equivalent of generations in technology lives. Think where we were 20 years ago. We were using giant mobile phones that were limited to that one function. Now our credit card sized phones can do almost anything we can think of. What I do know, is that the companies that embrace the technologies that are available now, not simply picking one, but using all of them, are the companies that will survive.

Congratulations to Megan who is out on maternity leave. Elizabeth Elaine arrived April 22, weighing in at 8 lbs, 4 oz and measuring 20 ¾ inches.

[

Send your comments, questions and ideas for Raubin & Megan’s Tough Love Column to toughlove@tkmagazine.com

] Summer 2010

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[help desk] REAL ESTATE

Q.

I’m interested in getting office space, is now a good time to find affordable space?

A.

The term “affordable space” depends on the criteria of the office tenant/buyer and the characteristics of the property. Each prospective office buyer/tenant is unique and each commercial office property is unique. The satisfaction comes when we are able to match the criteria of the buyer/tenant with the characteristics of the property. For some office buyers/tenants, the most important criteria is cost. In this situation our search for the office property will focus on the customer’s budget restrictions. The Topeka office market has fared much better than other markets across the country and even other markets as close as Lawrence and Kansas City. Topeka has benefited by our stable economy and the fact that we have not over built speculative office buildings. Therefore, while there are certain segments of the market and certain owners that are more aggressive with the pricing and incentives to attract tenants, the overall market is not offering deep discounts. Our 2009 Market Report, as well as previous years, is available at www.kscommercial.com. There are over 414 office properties or suites currently available for sale or lease in Topeka. Customized reports of properties that best fits the office buyer/tenant’s criteria are available. There are also additional properties or opportunities that are not currently “on the market” but a real estate broker can provide.

Q.

Ken Schmanke President KS Commercial Real Estate Services Inc 22 Years Experience

I am planning on getting new office space, should I lease or buy?

A.

We typically recommend that customers keep their decision to lease real estate separate from their decision to invest in real estate. Sometimes it makes sense for a company to use working capital for the purchase of real estate that meets the needs of the business. Other times it makes more sense for a business to lease space and reinvest their working capital into growing their business. There are many issues to consider, some of these factors are: Tenant Specific Improvements: A tenant may find it difficult to find a landlord willing to invest in a large amount of improvements to a building that are specific to the tenant’s use. In this case, a business may be required to make these

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improvements which will remain with the real estate at the time that the lease is terminated. A large amount of tenant specific improvement may be a good reason to buy real estate. Financing: There are currently favorable financing options that are only available for owner occupied commercial properties. This may allow for a lower cost of occupancy if the property is owned by the business. Flexibility: If a business anticipates the use or square feet will change, we recommend the business lease for a relatively short term with renewal options. For a growing business, the flexibility to relocate at the end of a lease term can be beneficial when the company outgrows their real estate. Ultimately we advise our customers to not let their desire to own real estate adversely impact the decision to buy a property that may not be the best fit for their business. If the following conditions are true, then buying may be the best option: 1. The best available property can be purchased. 2. The occupancy cost to buy is less than the occupancy cost to lease. 3. The business has the ability to use working capital to make the purchase or required down payment. 4. The rate of return is equal to or greater than the return the business anticipates by using capital in their business.

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TK Magazine

MARKETING

Q.

People say they see my ads on TV or in the paper but I am not seeing any change in my bottom line. How do I know if my marketing is actually moving people to buy?

A.

I think many entrepreneurs make the mistake of advertising without first having a plan. Just running an


[help desk] ad isn’t going to work. A marketing plan is the foundation, or the road map, that should guide all communications for the company. A few things to think about within your plan: Know where you’re going. If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t get there. You must identify measurable goals. Is it more inquiries? More visits to your website? More customers in the door? Higher average ticket? Faster inventory turns? Greater name awareness? Write it down and commit to it. Know your audience. Your audience is probably not “everyone.” And it’s certainly not your mother. (She already knows you’re great.) Take some time to analyze who your best customer is. Think about that person’s characteristics. What does she care about? Where is she? What is her life like? How does your product help? Once you can articulate answers to these questions, then you can define marketing strategies and tactics to specifically address them. Build in measurement tools. If you want to see if your campaign increased awareness for your business, you may have to conduct pre- and post-testing. If you want to find out whether a TV commercial drives sales, include a limited time offer, then see how many people ask to take advantage of the promotion. A coupon is also a good tracking tool. You can even test different media by assigning coupon codes to see which coupon is redeemed the most. Next time around, you know what medium delivered the most redemptions. Be strategic. Perhaps what you really need is an internal sales contest to boost your average ticket. Give the salesperson who adds the most dessert sales a bonus. That doesn’t require advertising, or even a discount. It just requires staff training and suggestive selling. Everything speaks. All audience touch-points can support or detract from your brand. Of course, your advertising and PR, website, signage and packaging are key. But you should also be thinking about your business environment, on-hold message, email signature, apparel or uniforms, delivery vehicles and invoices. These also tell audiences a great deal about your business. Take time to evaluate all your messaging to be sure you are consistently telling the same story everywhere. Consistency builds your brand and makes your ad dollars go further.

Q.

Is there value to having a blog on a business website?

A.

Absolutely! Again, think about this in the context of your marketing plan, then consider whether a blog is one of the tactics to help you reach your goals. When it’s done right, a blog can position you as an expert at what you do and supports your brand. It can also help with your search engine rankings and boost traffic to your website because you’ll be publishing new content regularly. A well-written, effective blog provides information that your audience cares about. Keep in mind that it’s about them. Don’t try to force information on your readers, instead, find out what they want to know and give it to them. That’s what will keep them coming back, and sharing your content with their friends. Word of mouth is the most effective marketing of all. A good blog can help increase the opportunity for positive buzz about your company.

Martha Bartlett Piland President & CEO MB Piland Advertising & Marketing LLC 22 Years Experience

You have questions and Topeka experts have the answers. Send your question to tara@ tkmagazine.com and we will find the Topeka expert with the answer. Four to eight questions will be chosen for each TK issue.

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by Karen Ridder photos by rachel lock photography

Boomers Marvin Spees, President, Capital City Oil Kathy Clark, Senior Vice President Retail Banking/Marketing, Capital City Bank Marlou Wegener, Chief Operating Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation and Manager of Community Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas John Dietrick, CEO, General Counsel and Co-owner, Creative Business Solutions Chris Grandmontagne, Owner, Warehouse 414 Jerry Ney, CEO, Aldersgate Village X-ers Dusty Gary, Structural Engineer, E.I.T., Vice President, Wolf Construction Gwen Cordero, Director, Topeka Lasik Center Ryan Gigous, Financial Consultant, T&M Financial, Inc. and Vice President, Greenwave Electric, Inc Kristina Dietrick, President & Co-owner, Creative Business Solutions Amber Gentry, Vice President of Sales, Networks Plus Rico Garcia, Owner, The Jet Millennials Alissa Sheley, Director of Social Media, jones huyett Partners Jared Starkey, President & Owner, LAMP Development, LLC Andrea Engstrom, Senior Account Manager, MB Piland Fat Free Advertising Karl Fundenberger, Director of Social Media, FryeAllen, Inc. Jenni Monhollon, Owner, Jenrik Designs

and Topeka workers are feeling the strain. It’s a generation overload. Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials are fighting for office space, and struggling to work together. “You’ve got a wider age spread than has ever been seen in the work place before,” says Cynthia Stotlar, Vice President of Training at Creative Business Solutions, a local human resources outsourcing company. Stotlar says the problem has become defined in the last few years as the economy prevented many Boomers from retiring at the same time Millennials were hitting the workplace. That back-up and overlap is friction among co-workers and stress on the job. Each generation has a unique perspective, set of experiences and ideas to bring to the table. They are defined by different values, culture and motivations for work. Companies of all sizes are now looking for tools to help smooth out the new challenge of mixing several generations of workers. Corporate trainer and retired teacher, Larry Beam, leads generational training for Leadership Topeka. Beam believes that communication is the key to making a multi-generational workplace successful. He also says people must first figure out how their own work style is affected by their generation. “You can’t understand other generations until you know where you are. All of us can have characteristics of different generations, particularly those on the cusp,” says Beam. In that spirit, TK Magazine talked to Topeka business leaders about what their generation brings to the table, and the challenges they have working across age lines.

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At an estimated 80-million strong, Baby Boomers are the largest generation in American history. They have been an optimistic group, and have spurred tremendous social change. Boomers were able to come of age in a positive economy with a lot of consumer goods and educational opportunities available to them. Boomers also experienced a crowded workplace with a lot of competition. That created a strong drive to be first. “The Boomers defined the term workaholic,” says Stotlar. Boomers put a lot of their identity into their work and are responsible for the 50 or 60 hour work week, something Xers later resented and tried to change. Boomers now face a stalled retirement because of a failing economy. That’s an unexpected challenge for these idealists, and it is holding back generations coming behind them.

“The economy is not as certain as it used to be. So, they aren’t letting go. That causes all kinds of problems. They are cluttering up the system,” says Beam.

Local Boomers see themselves as committed and loyal workers. Marlou Wegener, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of

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Kansas Foundation COO, says Boomers often view themselves from a professional standpoint. They “are” their job. “I happen to feel that way. I’ve had a lot of opportunities. I get to do a lot of things. I feel a commitment to (my company) wherever I am as an ambassador to them. That’s my role,” says Wegener. Baby Boomers also feel confident in their professional experience. They feel they can help other generations. Jerry Ney, the CEO of Aldersgate Village, is a Boomer, but has always been an early adopter of technology. So, he feels more like a Gen-Xer. He has been in the unique position of being able to help Gen-Xers because he thinks like them, but has the solid business background of a Boomer to provide a foundation for new ideas.

The economic downturn of the last two years has been one of the biggest challenges for Baby Boomers. Some Boomers are looking at five to seven years longer in the workforce than they planned. Kathy Clark, a Senior Vice President at Capital City Bank, says that’s been a shock for people who gave much of their lives to their careers with the promise of personal time and travel in their retirement.

“People thought that things were going to be different. That they were going to be able to do some of the things that they really enjoy doing besides an 8 to 5 job,” says Clark.


Even those Boomers not facing immediate retirement are struggling with the economic downturn. Marvin Spees, president of Capital City Oil, believes it’s been discouraging for many because theirs is a generation that has not really had to face economic adversity. He believes an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit among Boomers not only created great successes, but also laziness and greed. Spees says the economic downturn has challenged people to reassess. “We have to figure out how to get through this mess, the recession or slowdown. Some people might not be able to buckle down. It’s always been onward and upward,” says Spees.

Generation-X was labeled as a cynical generation that cares more about home life than work life. At about 45-million, they are the smallest generation in America, but make up almost half of the current workforce. The development of these independent thinkers came as a response to highly career minded Boomers. Many GenXers were latch-key kids, left to figure things out on their own.

“We would put them on the school bus, and they’d go home. No one is there. They’d have a key in the backpack. They went to the fridge and then plop down in front of the TV and mom and dad would arrive around 6:00,” says Beam.

Stotlar says they come by it honestly. “The divorce rate went sky high and politicians imploded, starting with Nixon. They lost a lot of trust,” says Stotlar. Recession and downsizing also created a breakdown of corporate trust that led Xers to become job-jumpers. They are not likely to stay in positions for the decades that Boomers devoted to companies.

At this stage in their careers, some Topeka Gen-Xers feel like mediators in the generation struggle.

Kristina Dietrick, President of Creative Business Solutions, says, “I’ve been my field 20 years. I have another 20 years to go, and it’s kind of like the sandwiched generation in regards to dealing with the people in the workforce facing retirement and the one’s coming in.” That challenge of balancing two very different generations above and below taps into Generation X’s strength, problem solving. T & M Financial Advisor Ryan Gigous says his generation can be counted on to come up with good solutions when a challenge needs to be addressed. “If something needs to be taken care of, we will take it upon ourselves just to make it happen. We’re the most self reliant,” says Gigous. Topeka Gen-Xers also say they like to keep busy and keep learning. Gwen Cordero, the Administrator of Topeka LASIK Center, says “I think our generation has a thirst for knowledge and we really start to multitask. I think we want to learn as much as we can.” Multitasking translates into a

This early independence created a generation that doesn’t like to be micromanaged and enjoys self-command. They have become good researchers and problem solvers, but they like to do it on their own. Gen-Xers also have a distrust of authority that translates to a cynical attitude.

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high energy and high speed. “The Xers are going a thousand miles an hour,” says Jerry Ney. Amber Gentry, a Networks Plus Vice President, agrees that she works best when her plate is full, but points out it is a generational trait has brought new developments to the workplace, “We also like to stay connected with each other,” says Gentry. While Millennials are often credited with techsavvy media methods, it was the Xers who first fully embraced technology in the workplace as a new way to connect and communicate.

Gen-Xers attitude was an initial challenge, but their demand for a better work/life balance has led to flexible work hours and career paths. It’s something that Millennials now take as the norm and Boomers have found reasons to appreciate. “Boomers typically resented a lot of the time off that that Xers spearheaded because they never got that for their kids, but they have appreciated using it for elder care,” says Stotlar. Generation-X has gained credibility in the workplace, but now they have to wait for Boomers to get out of the way. Some Gen-Xers feel like they are paying for the poor planning of the generation before them. “Look at all these Boomers who were simply relying on their 401k or their social security to retire from. The market takes a correction. Now, they have to work longer in order to regain the losses. Our generation is held back because they have to stay in the work force longer,” says Gigous.

thanked on a regular basis,” says Stotlar. She says when Millennials were growing up, many schools quit having winners and losers. It was an “everyone gets a certificate or trophy” system. As a result, Millennials don’t respond to traditional reward systems, and expect constant feedback. “They aren’t understanding why they aren’t getting thanked for coming to work today,” says Stotlar.

Millennials say youth is their advantage. They have a lot of ideas and want to be heard.

Alissa Sheley, Social Media Director for Jones Huyett Partners says, “We are not constrained by a lot of experience. So, I think our naiveté allows us to come up with ideas that maybe other generations aren’t able to do.” There are about 76-million Millennials. As a generation, they are nearly as big as the Boomers, but they are still young. Born in the 1980s and 1990s, the oldest Millennials are in their late 20s. Only about 10 percent has hit the workforce. They have known computers all of their lives, and have a “work faster not harder” mentality. Their technology skills are seen by many companies as a hot commodity. Millennials are characterized as optimistic and confident. They are very team and peer oriented. They are good in collaborative situations. They are very capable, but also very demanding. “They have come to work thinking they should be

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Sheley says she values that her current company gives credit to what she has to think, “They really embraced the fact that I’m a young professional and brought stuff to the table that was different.” Jared Starkey, a 26-year-old, who owns LAMP Development says Millennials are still enthusiastic about their work. “A lot of people who have done stuff for a really long time have a tendency to get burnt out and lose their passion for what pays the bills. We’re kind of naïve in the fact that we still like it,” says Starkey.


age it’s hard to have people take me seriously,” says Starkey. It’s a problem still echoed by some workers on the cusp as well, like Wolf Construction Vice President Dusty Gary. He is the age of a Gen-Xer, but feels like a Millennial. “Often times I hear the statement ‘Present company excluded,’” says Gary.

“There’s the distinct opinion from the older generation that our generation isn’t worth much and that they’re lazy. If you’re not in that category it’s somewhat surprising to them.”

While the wide age-range in the marketplace is causing some stress, the challenges and strengths each generation brings to the table holds the possibility of creating a more effective boardroom. Managers and business leaders should get their workers talking, find ways to make them feel valued, and help them understand how they fit into the conversation. A successful company can build on a thriving multi-generational workplace and use it to make their business stronger.

An outgrowth of their peer oriented attitude is a civic concern. Topeka Millennials want to do more than just improve their own lives with their work, they want to help others. They aren’t happy as their Gen-X predecessors to settle for something they see as “just a job.” The marketplace has changed for young professionals. Cynthia Stotlar says, “If you’re getting out with an MBA right now, you’re just not going to be able to get the job you thought you were going to get.” Even the ability to get internships is limited for many Millennials. Limited opportunity was a challenge for 23-year-old Kurt Fundenberger, who currently works as social media director Challenge Change Create for FryeAllen Inc. “When I graduated, I the Rules the Rules the Rules applied for lots of jobs in Chicago, New Preferred in Required to Keep Continuous and York, San Francisco. I never heard anyModeration Me Expected thing back. So, I finally looked for opFacilitated Independent Collaborative and portunities locally. Now, I work at an ad Networked agency and that’s more of a professional Guarded Hub and Spoke Collaborative experience, but it’s been a few years,” says Fundenberger. He says working close to Horizontal Independent Collaborative home has been good, but it was unexTeam Informed Team Included Team Decided pected for him, “It’s kind of a paradigm Unilateral Coach Partner shift.” Yearly Weekly/Daily On Demand Another challenge for Millennials is their youth. “As a business owner at my Source Citation: Quinn, Patricia. "A multigenerational perspective on employee communications." Risk Management 57.1 (2010): 32+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 1 May 2010

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TK ASKED OUR READERS...

W h a t M a k e s Your Business

SIZZLE? Making your business sizzle means setting it apart from your competition. Turning up the heat may come from offering creative products and services that no one else has, or igniting your customer base through special rewards. Maybe keeping valuable employees is what keeps your business hot. Companies in Topeka told TK how they are creating sparks to make their business sizzle.

Marketing Approach “We have taken on a new appreciation for interactive, digital and social media.” - Karl Fundenberger, FryeAllen, Inc. “In 2009 we held back on marketing, but we saw that it wasn’t good for business, so this year we plan to increase our spending for marketing nearly 200% in order to capture new business.” - Lena Hayden, Nos Vemos Greetings “We track every phone call as to how the customer came to call us so we know where we are getting the most for our marketing dollars.” - Von Kopfman, Blue Dot Services / IAQ Solutions “When I had no money to spend on advertising, I found that networking was my best source of business. Rotary, TIBA, Chamber, etc. got me more business than anything else. Also sewing my name on my shirt started conversation and allowed me to sell cars I otherwise wouldn’t have. I still use these tools.” - John Stubbs, Stubbs Development Co., LLC

What Sets Your Company Apart from the Competition? “Constant contact with customers and asking for referrals with small financial incentives for any who buy product or sign up on my team.” - Paula Gerlach, Silpada Designs Sterling Jewelry “We give our customers exceptional service and a fair market price for the products we provide. We offer new services that are not otherwise available in this area.” -Jeff Coen, The C-Team Studios “Advertising… creating brand awareness not only for my company, but for myself as an individual.” - Tim Kolling, WIBW Radio and TK Columnist “We excel in markets that our competitors do not perform well or at all. We strive for the highest quality in our care and are much more cost-effective than our competitors. We provide a superior patient experience by streamlining the hassles of scheduling tests and surgeries.” - Dr. James Hamilton, Tallgrass Surgical Specialists, PA “Get to know my customers, find out what their needs are and make them feel important. Live by the Gold Rule and follow up.” - Judy Barr, Mary Kay Cosmetics

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Thinking Outside the Box “I schedule appointments at non traditional times to work with my customer’s lifestyle.” - Heidi Norton, Mary Kay

Perks to Employees “Everything we can. They are the business.” - Tim Degginger, Deggingers’ Foundry “We offer our employees gas allowances, memberships to fitness centers, etc. Money is never a motivator. Once it is spent, the short lived appreciation goes with it. Employees like to know that the company cares about them— health, family, etc.” - Ping Enriquez, Ad Veritas Construction “Family is one of our core values. We have established an infant at work program which multiple employees have participated in this last year.” - Paul Bossert, Premier Employment Solutions “We provide iPhones for business and personal use, periodic chair massage, great benefits package, birthday as a paid holiday, fun parties and Friday happy hour!” - Martha Piland, MBPiland Fat Free Advertising

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“The name of the company, Nos Vemos Greetings, is difficult for customers to pronounce and spell. So we had to develop a strategy to make it easier for them to understand. We are relaunching the brand as “Hola cards” presented by Nos Vemos. This allows us to play with the word “Hola” which everyone understands.” - Lena Hayden, Nos Vemos Greetings “Getting on board with the Think Big Topeka movement.”’ - Joe Cheray, Wildheart’s Web 2.0 “We offer companies a four-hour working interview. Instead of sending someone over for a traditional interview, we coordinate with our clients and associate to actually start working once they arrive to see if both parties are interested in pursuing the arrangement.” - Diana Ramirez, Express Employment Professionals “When we branched out into the energy audit side of the business four years ago people (and sometimes we ourselves) thought we were nuts. With the federal tax credits and efficiency programs that came to the table in 2009, we were ahead of the curve in terms of training, equipment and experience. - Von Kopfman, Blue Dot Services / IAQ Solutions “We host training lunch and learn sessions for our customers.” - Phil Tysinger, Dynamic Computer Solutions

“We have grown our fan pages and Twitter followers dramatically and we continue to re-invest study and test use of social media as a communications platform.” -Jake Huyett, jones huyett Partners “We receive a lot of calls from agencies, individuals and companies that ask for advice and/or information. We provide quick information for free, because we enjoy what we do and helping others out. Many times we’ve ended up getting a customer that was referred to us by someone we helped out for free.” - Robert Nall, Heartland Tower, Inc. “We do self promotion at nontraditional times. One year we chose Halloween. (You don’t get more fat free than a skeleton!) We sent an animated skeleton greeting and fuschia/black decorations to clients and friends. A huge hit!” - Martha Piland, MBPiland Fat Free Advertising “We don’t have stockholders to satisfy, and that means we operate with only one singular purpose in mind – to benefit our member-owners on a daily basis, with everything we do and in every way that we do it.” - Greg Winkler, Educational Credit Union “We recently joined with OpenTable. com to provide online reservations. We can also track our guests’ experience every time they come into the restaurant and therefore treat each and every customer with better service, and provide more attention to individual requests and needs.” - Mike Owens, Brick Oven Courtyard Grille


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What skills, knowledge and/or education do you need to reach your goals? You must learn for yourself or be taught by those that do have the knowledge.

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Topeka Auto Dealers

Drive Forward by ELLEN JENSEN

January 20 2009

April 2009

Chrysler completes alliance with Fiat, selling bulk of its assets and receives $6.6 billion in exit financing from US government.

GM announces phase out of Pontiac in 2010 and will cease building Saturns at end of 2009 model year.

December 20 2008

June 10 2009

Italian automaker Fiat agrees to take 35% stake in Chrysler.

December 20 2008

GM filed for bankruptcy protection.

GM announced it will phase out the Pontiac brand in 2010 and that it will stop building Saturns at the end of the 2009 model year.

TK TKMagazine Magazine

June 1 2009

The Bush administration makes bailout loan to GM of $4 billion available Dec. 29, $5.4 billion on Jan. 16, 2009, and $4 billion on Feb. 17.

Summer Summer2010 2010

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.

Chrysler receives $4 billion loan from federal government.

December 2008

One of those in the Topeka auto industry who has suffered the most blows during the recession is Doug Richert, owner of Doug Richert Pontiac Cadillac. He nearly lost his whole

Recession

Trent’s Auto World experienced a delayed reaction to the recession. Trent Vausbinder, owner of Trent’s

Franchise Fight

April 30 2009

“Cars are better built, run longer, are more fuel efficient and expensive, which all suggests that people will be buying fewer cars in the future,” Six said. “But they will need brakes, tires and oil changes.”

Auto World, said for the longest time, he felt recession proof—until business fell off sharply in October 2009. Business was down by half, Vausbinder said. It bounced back in November, but December, January and February were difficult, not only because of the economy, but also likely because of the tough winter, he said.

Fall 2008

Motors, Chrysler and Ford approach Washington for loan guarantees. The bottom fell out of the economy, and the recession began.

24 24

tation is important, so used car dealers are somewhat recession resistant in that sense, Six said. He also took advantage of low interest rates during the recession to increase the service side of his business.

September 2008

The Topeka auto industry has been through some tough times in the last couple of years. When the bottom fell out of the economy in the fall of 2008, an 18-month-long “winter” began, when dealers had to contend with slow business, as well as the threat of losing franchises, recall issues and the government’s Cash for Clunkers program, which, in some cases, hurt more than it helped. Darrell Six, owner of Six Auto, said his business slowed considerably in the fall of 2008, but he was able to hold his own. Because Topeka doesn’t have much mass transit, personal transpor-


Toyota forecast profit will rise 48 percent this fiscal year.

May 2010

Chrysler Group reports an operating profit of $143 million for the first quarter.

GM pays $8.1 billion in government loans, 5 years early and 9 months after declaring bankruptcy.

April 2010

May 2010

Congress passes legislation setting up appeals process for GM and Chrysler dealers slated for closure.

Almost all of the dealers commented that the program took a lot of good used cars off the market. “There were a lot of clunkers that weren’t really clunkers,” Six said. “Many were nice-quality cars that maybe didn’t have quite the fuel efficiency. They normally would have found their way to a used car dealer and then been sold to a young family.” The program also drastically cut into the used car inventory, driving up the price of used cars. “It got more difficult to buy used cars because the inventory had been wiped out,” Vausbinder said. “There was an urgency for franchise dealers to beef up their used inventory, so nice used cars were more expensive than normal—$2,000 over book price at auction.” Opinions were also mixed about

December 2009

unintended for

CARS closes early overwhelming response.

August 24 2009

“There was a frenzy of buying over a 30-60 day period, and then we had the Cash for Clunkers hangover, and business was slow,” he said.

Toyota recalls acceleration.

Congress appropriates additional $2 billion for CARS.

August 7 2009

due

Dealers begin submitting CARS transactions for approval.

Reactions were mixed about the benefits of the government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), better known as Cash for Clunkers, which was a $3 billion U.S. federal program intended to provide economic incentives to U.S. residents to purchase a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle when trading in a less fuel-efficient vehicle. The program was promoted as providing stimulus to the economy by boosting auto sales, while putting safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles on the roadways. The program worked well for John Hoffer Chrysler-Jeep, which sold 14 Jeep Patriots alone, as well as Lewis Toyota, which had only nine new vehicles left on the lot when the program ended. The program was really designed to help the domestic market, but Toyota reaped the benefits of the government program as well, said Steve Cain, Lewis Toyota general manager. Although meant to boost new car sales, the program affected some inde-

July 27 2009

GM came out of bankruptcy.

July 2009

June 24 2009

President Obama signs the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Act of 2009 (Cash for Clunkers), appropriating $1 billion for the program.

Before the arbitration date was scheduled, GM reinstated Richert’s dealership, along with about half of the dealerships that were slated for closure. GM included a few stipulations, however. Richert had to sign an exclusivity letter not to put in another franchise besides Cadillac. He also has to update the building, including signage and graphics for the showroom floor, furniture, bathrooms and wait-

Cash for Clunkers

pendent used car dealerships as well. Vausbinder said Trent’s Auto World was busier than ever during the Cash for Clunkers program because people were out looking even if they couldn’t participate in the program.

November 2 2009

“We spent three to four months gathering a mass of information showing why we should stay in business,” Richert said.

ing room, as well as lighting. So far, GM has not designated any timelines for when the updates need to be completed.

to

business. Since October 2008, Richert said that he has done about 45 percent of the business that he would have done based on previous years’ sales. General Motors’ decision last spring to quit building Pontiacs dealt Richert another blow, costing him about half of his profits. He was in danger of losing his Cadillac franchise as well, because his was one of the dealerships on GM’s chopping block. Richert planned to fight for his franchise, and when Congress ordered GM to allow dealers slated for closure to seek arbitration in challenging their closings, he and his staff began putting together their case.

Summer Summer2010 2010

TK TKMagazine Magazine 25 25


whether the program accomplished its goals. “The government spent $3 billion; we sold out of cars and put factories back to work,” Hoffer said. “Sure it did some good.” Six said he would compare Cash for Clunkers to a band-aid for the auto industry, as opposed to major surgery.

“The industry was really sick, and this program helped but wasn’t a complete cure,” he said. “It did staunch the flow of blood and keep some dealers from going out of business.” However, Richert said that program simply caused a short spike in new car sales. “I honestly can say that the people who bought cars during the Cash for Clunkers program would have bought a car anyway,” Richert said. “I am selling more cars now than during Cash for Clunkers.”

Recall Woes The high-profile recalls on various Toyota models forced Lewis Toyota service department to go into overdrive while vehicle sales dried up. When the media frenzy hit in late January, it did put a damper on vehicle sales, Cain said. He added, however, the recalls hit in the winter months when business typically is slower anyway. “That first 30 days was hectic while we were trying to accommodate customers as quickly as possible,” Cain said. “Hats off to those in the service department who had to deal with three to four times the normal business.” Cain had only positive things to say about how Toyota handled the situation, and how the manufacturer worked with its dealerships. Toyota responded as well as any company could to that kind of mass media negative publicity, Cain said. “The good part is they were able to fix the cars with no cost to the

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consumer and no bailout programs.” He said through the recall process, they found that many customers were stacking floor mats, using an all-weather mat with a towel on top, so much of the process was educating customers on how the floor mats should be placed in the vehicle. Once Toyota got a handle on customer service, they immediately began rebuilding consumer trust in the company, Cain said, adding that as of March, Toyota offered the best incentives in his 20-year history with the company. “Our business was up more than 75 percent in March from what it was in March 2009,” Cain said. “Everything we lost we gained back and then some, so not all customers are deterred by the negative publicity.” Still, other local dealerships were able to reap the benefits of Toyota’s bad publicity. It brought the realization to customers that no manufacturer is perfect, Richert said. “It is not the elite brand it once was,” he said. “Consumers are starting to look again at American cars and finding they are as good if not better.” Vausbinder agreed, saying Toyota ridden a high for a long time, and they could do no wrong. I always used to have six to 10 Toyotas at a time, but I don’t now,” he said. “There are still plenty of people who believe they are good cars, but the demand for them has diminished.”

Bailouts Although there was much controversy from the general public surrounding the auto industry bailouts, with lots of talk about the pros and cons, it’s surprising that those caught in the middle, the car dealers, would also be of two minds about them.

“I don’t like bailouts, and I’m sad it had to go that way,” Richert said.

“On one hand, if manufacturers can’t track income and expenditures, they shouldn’t be bailed out, but on the other hand, I would not have a franchise right now if the federal government hadn’t helped out.” He said during the last 10 months, he has done his best sales job keeping his employees together, finding a way for them take a paycheck home in the face of losing his franchise. “I have 48 employees and was able to keep everybody,” Richert said. “I have never been through anything like this— driving down a dead end road, thinking I was going to lose everything I had worked my whole life for. But I have received such phenomenal support from customers who have taken the time to send letters and emails, sign petitions and bring in cakes and cookies, and that means so much.”

Spring Fever The last year and a half has been a wild ride, but Spring, the time of rebirth, has given new life to auto industry in Topeka. March was good, and April has been even better, Vausbinder said, and Richert said this year his business starting to pick up as well. “The economy seems to be gaining,” Six said. “We have seen more people coming in who are interested in making a purchase, especially after tax season.” Hoffer said he, too, can see signs of business picking up. Plus, he said, people’s cars are starting to wear out. He noticed that many of the cars in the service department within the last year had in excess of 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Some of those customers are going to need new cars soon, he said.


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sorry, you’ve been

DECLINED by LISA LOEWEN

What Consumers Say “If it was a purchase that I really had to make (i.e., prescription, doctor co-pay) I'd eat the overdraft charge.” “The country would be a lot better off if everyone had to have the money in the bank or they were declined.”

What Retailers Say “I would rather have to throw an order away because a customer’s card is declined, than have them pay $35 for a $5 sandwich.” “People usually have a back-up payment method if their debit card is declined, so it won’t really change anything.”

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When does a cup of coffee cost $35? When a swipe of a debit

card triggers an overdraft and results in a hefty bank fee. Most banks automatically enroll customers in overdraft protection coverage when they open their accounts. This service allows customers to complete purchases at the register, even if they don’t have the funds in their accounts to cover it, but the penalties they pay for this service often exceed the original transaction amounts. Beginning July 1, bank customers will no longer receive automatic overdraft protection on their debit card purchases. Federal regulations will require banks to get customer consent to “opt in” to the overdraft protection coverage. If consumers decline this coverage, their transactions will be declined when they don’t have enough money in the bank.

Bob Kobbeman, president and CEO of Capital City Bank, said bank overdraft coverage is appealing to customers because it lets them avoid the inconvenience, embarrassment and potential consequences of having payments rejected. He noted that overdraft fees are easy to avoid and that bank customers who pay overdraft fees are in the minority. “In a perfect world, consumers would never find themselves in a situation where they may overdraw their account,” Kobbeman said. A 2009 American Bank Association poll found that 82 percent of bank customers had not paid any overdraft charges that year, and of those who did, 96 percent were glad their transactions had been covered. For the average consumer, it seems like common sense to only be able to spend money if you have it in your


checking account. But for others, it is nice to know that coverage is there if they need it. Some customers really like overdraft protection — those who want to be able to buy a sandwich even though they have no money in the bank and are willing to pay a $30 fee to avoid the embarrassment of being turned down at the check stand.

The Way It Works Now

If you make a purchase with your debit card and you don’t have enough money in your account to cover it, the bank will pay it but charge you $20 to $30. If you make another purchase, you will be charged another fee.

What Will Change

You will not receive automatic overdraft protection on your debit card and ATM transactions. You must sign a form to “opt in” to this coverage. If you choose to forego the coverage, your debit card will be declined if you do not have sufficient funds in your account, but you will not be charged overdraft fees. These new rules do not cover checks or automatic bill payments that you may have set up for paying your mortgage, rent or utilities.

Credit Card Regulations to Protect Consumers The new Truth in Lending regulations designed to protect consumers who use credit cards went into effect on February 22, 2010. So what does this mean for you? • Credit card issuers cannot increase a rate during the first year after an account is opened, or increase rates on existing credit card balances. • No one under the age of 21 can receive a credit card unless the consumer has the ability to make the required payments (a job) or obtains the signature of a parent or other co-signer. • Creditors must obtain your consent before charging fees for transactions that exceed your credit limit. • Credit card issuers cannot use the “two-cycle” billing method to impose interest charges. • Creditors can not allocate payments in ways that maximize interest charges.

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In Champion of Character, Kevin Doel highlights Topekans that exemplify highcaliber character; those people that serve as role models for each of us through the high standards they set for themselves and their efforts to create a better community beyond their own self-interests.

Champion of Character: Vance Allen Topeka native Vance Allen has worked in the family insurance business, Allen Insurance Associates, Inc., since 1994, but in 2007 Vance joined a new “family” on a mission to protect grieving families of fallen members of the military from protestors. The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is a diverse collection of motorcycle riders and those that do not ride from across the nation and Canada. As diverse as the members of this organization are, Allen says they have one key thing in common: “an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security.”

“We show our sincere respect for the fallen heroes, their family, friends, and their communities, and shield the mourning from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters,” said Allen. Allen became involved with the

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PGR after attending the funeral of a friend’s grandfather protected by the PGR. “I saw the respect and dignity they afforded the family and friends. I was blown away by this show of patriotism. They closely mirrored the love I have for my country and I decided to join.” The primary mission of the PGR is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family and use peaceful means to shield mourners from the interruption of protestors. The Patriot Guard Riders was officially started in Mulvane, Kansas, on October 18, 2005, by American Legion Riders Post #136. They saw the need to shield the families from the protestors who were intent on disrupting the funerals of the fallen. Since then, chapters of PGR have sprung up in every state and even Canada, with membership standing near 190,000. Allen now serves as one of two Ride Captains for Northeast Kansas (excluding the Kansas City, Kansas metro area). Once a request for a mission is received, Allen is responsible for all aspects of planning, coordinating, and execution of a safe and successful mission. While Allen is responsible for coordinating the details of a mission, he says the accolades for a truly successful mission go to those who “show up, pitch in when they can, and stand the flag line. I just facilitate the details – they make it happen.”

Allen finds inspiration in the Patriot Guard Riders he serves alongside on the flag line. “Not all, but a large majority are veterans and those currently serving. I cannot tell you how it feels to be among

those that I consider heroes that have served or are serving our country. This is strictly a volunteer organization from the top down, and all expenses incurred to attend a mission are the responsibility of the member. Yet, they still show up in numbers, just to say ‘thanks’ to someone they have probably never met in their lives.” Despite misconceptions of who the Patriot Guard Riders are, perhaps due in part to all the leather biker apparel, Allen boils it down to one key characteristic.

“We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran, I am not. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride, I don’t. The only prerequisite is respect.”


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Branding Topeka I love this image of Territorial Topeka. I hold it in front of audiences and ask, “What do you see?” The answers are predictable. A village. Buildings. A jail. (Actually, the building they perceive as a jail is Constitution Hall but that’s another story.) Then, inevitably they respond, “Emptiness.” It is difficult to say whether or not the Kanza ever gazed on this landscape and called it empty, but you and I live here today because our pioneer forefathers saw not emptiness but potential. Space to spread your arms. Relief from the already overcrowded cities of the East. Ground on which to build farms, hotels, stores. Thankfully, men like John Ritchie saw potential, not emptiness. Look again at the picture. If you were moving to this place, what materials would you use to construct a home? Certainly, there aren’t enough trees. Opportunity. There is stone, limestone. John Ritchie began a quarry. How do you hold the rocks together? John Ritchie built a lime kiln. Still, there was a need for wood. Cyrus K. Holliday saw the opportunity for a railroad on which to bring lumber from Atchison. Land and its riches--minerals, grasses, water, wind--our resources are still vast. The flipside to the wide-open space

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is that we tend to take it for granted. Our planning can be sloppy because we have to room to keep going. Such has been the case with Downtown Topeka. When buildings became dated and changes needed to be made, it was simpler to “move west” than to put energy into planning and money into improvements. We ignored the fact that the prime real estate lay in our very midst. Other cities have behaved likewise, to their detriment. Turning that around has been a real challenge. Whether we are looking toward the western horizon, or up and down Kansas Avenue toward the river, we need the vision of our forefathers who did not focus on what was missing, but chose to see, and act, on the potential.

Deb Goodrich Author and historian, masondixonwildwest.blogspot.com

Photos courtesy of the Kansas State Historical Society Kansasmemory.org. Deb’s photo by Rachel Lock Photography


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a look back at

MENNINGER documentary by David Gernon and Sahil Rattan

A documentary by David Gernon and Sahil Rattan, eighth graders at Topeka Collegiate School, that looked at the role the Menninger Foundation played in the field of psychiatry has won both the District and State History Day Competitions and is headed to the National History Day Competition. The following is the information collected for the documentary which outlines the history of Menninger. In 1919, Dr. C. F. Menninger and his son Dr. Karl Menninger, established the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, modeling it after the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In 1925, Will Menninger joined the clinic and they added the sanitarium, introducing psychiatry as a part of the science of medicine, giving credibility to what is now modern day psychiatry. Building upon Freudian theory, Menninger Clinic emphasized psychoanalysis (talk therapy) at a time

Sahil Rattan and David Gernon

when the primary focus of most psychiatric programs was on biological treatment (medication). Their approach to treating the mentally ill reflected a concern for the total environment of the patient. Menninger was one of the first medical facilities to share its findings with other medical institutions, emphasizing the importance of collective thinking to solve problems. Since it was one of the few places using psychoanalysis, it soon became the largest psychoanalytic training center in the world, putting Topeka on the medical community map. In fact, a sign outside of town read, “Welcome to Topeka, Kansas, the psychiatric capital of the world.” After the 1960s, the Menninger Clinic began to decline, due to an increase in the number of mental hospitals, fewer people wanting lengthy stays at a hospital, and more choices for treatments. In the last decade, the changes in health care financing and the efforts to control the cost of health care by limiting the duration of hospitalization, profoundly affected the approach at the Menninger Clinic. In 2003, the Menninger Foundation moved its clinical operations to a facility in Houston, affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine, and Topeka lost an icon.

Not truly lost, but still here… If one considers that it is the people who are the heart of any organization, then we didn’t lose all of Menninger. In fact, the majority of Menninger clinicians stayed in Topeka and only a handful moved to Menninger’s new home at Baylor University in Texas. Yes, we lost the Menninger Hospital, the accredited Southard High School, the Partial Hospitalization Services, the Community Service Office, and Menninger’s School of Psychiatry, the crown jewel of Menninger’s reputation, training doctors and clinicians from all over the world. We certainly lost Menninger as a brand by its name and reputation alone. However, we still have in Topeka many clinicians who are the product of decades of Menninger excellence and training---the trainers of trainers, the therapists’ therapists--who took immense pride and ownership in the world-renowned quality of treatment and mentoring supervision they delivered inside those walls. Yes, we lost the name and the reputation that went with the Menninger Campus, but much of the core talent remains right here where the heart of Menninger will always be. ~Lori Keegan, a retired LSCSW, and formerly a staff member at the Menninger Foundation.

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[scene about town]

Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI) Friday, April 30 - Washburn University Memorial Union 38 38

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[scene about town]

American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Career Chapter 28th Annual Scholarship Luncheon & 2010 Woman of Distinction Award Recognition Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - Maner Conference Center - Sunflower Ballroom

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[scene about town]

Downtown Topeka, Inc. Thursday, May 13, 2010 GTrust Financial Partners

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Winter Summer2009 2010

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[extra, extra!] Topeka Communications Professionals Awarded The Topeka AWC Chapter 2010 Headliner Awards recognizes excellence in women communications professionals. The 2010 Headliner Award winners are Coleen Jennison of Cox Communications in the nonprofit category for her work with the Boys and Girls Club of Topeka. Tracey Stratton of jones huyett Partners in the for-profit category as the Director of Public Relations at jhP. Leah Sewell of seveneightfive Magazine in the media category as the editor-in-chief of seveneightfive Magazine.

Kansas Super Chief Credit Union announces their new nameEnvista Credit Union Kansas Super Chief Credit Union announced its name has been changed to Envista Credit Union. This is a change in name only and does not affect any other aspect of the organization. The change will help to create a brand that is less confusing to consumers. “Envista will continue to be the same trusted and financially strong financial

services option that has delivered exceptional value in banking products and services to generations of Kansans.” states Jessica Stormann, KSCCU/Envista CU Vice-President of Business Development.

Piland Receives ABWA Woman of Distinction Award Martha Piland, president and CEO of MB Piland Advertising was

Past honorees include: Secretary

Award from the American Business

Kathleen Sebelius, Susan Garlinghouse,

Women’s Association (ABWA). Piland

Marge Heeney and Alicia Salisbury.

achievements, her commitment to her

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help others achieve their goals.

awarded the Woman of Distinction

received the award for her professional

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[extra, extra!] Quest Credit Union Makes its Debut Credit Union 1 of Kansas and Credit Unions United received regulatory approval to combine in October 2009 and put it to a membership vote in early November. The vote was approved and the consolidated credit unions will be Quest Credit Union. “We are two healthy, well-capitalized credit unions with strong membership bases, so the consolidation wasn’t required,” said Vickie Hurt, copresident/CEO of Quest. “But we believed we could do more for our members by uniting. Not only do they gain access to more branch locations, but

we’ll be open more hours; and, with the increased competition for business among financial institutions today, joining together will help us continue to ensure competitive rates, low fees and greater member convenience.” Quest will continue to serve members throughout a combined field of membership, which expands from Topeka to communities in Eastern Kansas. In addition to three Topeka branches and two Topeka service centers, the credit union has locations in Fort Riley, Pittsburg and Shawnee.

Greenwave Electric Grows Heartland Electric, Inc. has merged with Greenwave Electric, Inc. and the company will continue as Greenwave Electric, Inc. Don Gigous, former owner of Heartland Electric, is joining forces again with his son Ryan Gigous and nephews, Travis Gooden and Aaron Gooden, owners of Greenwave. In 2007, Travis, Ryan, and Aaron left Heartland Electric to start Greenwave. "I am very excited about the opportunity to reunite with the guys", said Don Gigous. "Greenwave Electric is building a great brand and reputation. My experience will provide an additional asset for Greenwave." Travis Gooden, President and Director of Commercial Services for Greenwave Electric, is equally excited. "Don's experience will be invaluable to the continued growth of Greenwave" “We have exploded from a company that had two to three employees to a company with 12 and looking for more,” said Mr. Gooden.

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[the joyful cynic & the unapologetic optimist] Joyful Cynic The Grocery Store Card and I

A few years ago, I succumbed to the lure of an in-store presentation at my local

grocery store, and signed up for one of their shopper cards. I had to fill in a form with my name and address and I-can’t-remember-what-all-else to get it. Now when I shop there I get an occasional discount on a bag of grapes or a can of Italian-seasoned tomatoes, and they get a ton of information on my buying habits. I’m sure they lump me together with a lot of other people by age and gender and zip code, and produce massive amounts of data for market researchers. On the back of the card, it says the card is their property. Not mine, theirs. I’m

She’s back! Canned soup again? Shouldn’t she be watching her salt intake?

not sure what to make of that. Three or four times a year they send me an envelope full of coupons for things that I buy often. Sometimes there’s a coupon for something I was going to buy anyway, and it’s free. That really is a good deal. I

admit

I

volunteered to be in this situation, but I’m vaguely uneasy about the vast amounts of information out there about each one of us, and we don’t quite know what “out there” means. Every once in a while, when I run my card past the scanner at the self-serve checkout, I imagine that I can hear someone somewhere saying, “She’s back! Canned soup again? Shouldn’t she be watching her salt intake? Wouldn’t you think, if she goes through that many rolls of paper towels, she’d buy the cheaper ones? Not a very smart shopper, is she?” Creepy.

“ ”

Let’s face it. We are all in the “system” somewhere.

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Unapologetic Optimist There is no such thing as anonymity

While those of you in my mom’s generation might find grocery stores monitoring your purchasing habits and sending you “personalized” coupons a bit creepy, I don’t find anything unusual about it at all. Entities have been sticking their noses into my private life ever since I was born. The Social Security Administration gave me a number at birth so they could keep track of me. The IRS knew how much babysitting money I made each year. The public school system tracked my attendance and my study habits. And that is just the “normal” level of monitoring. Think about what the Internet does to keep track of me. Companies know what I read, where I shop, how much I spend. If I choose to join a social network such as Facebook, I voluntarily give up even more information about myself, including pictures of my friends and family. Let’s face it. We are all in the “system” somewhere. Why not embrace it and have some fun with it? The next time you are at the grocery store, swap shopper cards with the person in front of you. Not only will it mess with the data the store is collecting on you, but you might also get a coupon for a product you haven’t tried before.

photos by ditmer digital & design TK TKMagazine Magazine


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You Might be a… You don’t remember the last time you watched “live” television, thanks to your DVR and sites like Hulu. You dominate at Rock Band and Wii tennis and invite all your friends over to prove it. You can not honestly imagine why anyone would want a landline. You think the “home phone number” line should be eliminated from all forms. On any given day, your ratio of text messages to minutes talked on the phone is at least 3 to 1. You spent more time on your Facebook page than your resume ou have only been with the company a month, but are thinking of taking a shot at that Vice President position which just opened up. You do not wait f o r dress-down Fridays to wear your tennis shoes to work. You tried to set up the next weekly team conference call as texting-only, to make it more productive. You recommended to the training department that a 3D virtual reality game would be a perfect way to prepare new employees for company jobs. You have downloaded more music than you ever bought.

Y

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Your work is completely unconnected to your college major. You immediately start to sing when you hear the numbers “8-6-7-5-3-0-9.” You or your best friend was a “latchkey” kid. You remember when VCR’s cost $1,000, and they were Betamax. Your parents thought heavy metal had subliminal satanic lyrics and tried to find them by playing records backwards. You ever dressed to emulate a person you saw in a Duran Duran, Madonna, or Cyndi Lauper video and you remember watching Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli and MC Hammer rise a n d fall. Your hair, at some point in the 80’s, became something which can only be described by the phrase, “I was experimenting.” Your television never turned off. You saw the stars of Miami Vice, The Bionic Woman, Six Million Dollar Man, Love Boat and Mork & Mindy more often than your parents. Your first “cell phone” looked like a brick. You rode in the back of the station wagon or truck, without a seatbelt and you faced the cars behind you.

You remember when a quarter was a decent allowance and you would reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. You wore bell bottoms, mini skirts & platform shoes the FIRST time around. You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. Your gas cost only 43 cents a gallon, and you did not pay for air. It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents. No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked. Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger. Your first house cost as much as your last car. You remember transistor radios and what life was like without computers, ipods, CDs or DVDs. All your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers wore high heels. You bought a cherry coke at the soda fountain at Woolworth’s, had a cupcake carnival at Boyles Joyland or watched a movie from the bed of a truck at the Chief Drive-In.


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Top 10 Negotiating Tips

Improve your negotiating tactics by following these simple tips. Adapted from Ed Brodow’s Ten Tips for Successful Negotiating in 2010.

1.

Ask for what you want.

Successful negotiators are assertive and challenge everything – they know that everything is negotiable. You are assertive when you take care of your own interests while maintaining respect for the interests of others.

2. Shut up and listen.

Negotiators are detectives. They ask probing questions and then stop talking. The other negotiator will tell you everything you need to know – all you have to do is listen.

3.

Do your homework.

Gather as much pertinent information prior to your negotiation. Doing your homework is vital. You cannot make accurate decisions without understanding the other side's situation.

4.

Be willing to walk away.

If you depend too much on the positive outcome of a negotiation, you lose your ability to say NO. When you say to yourself, "I will walk if I can't conclude a deal that is satisfactory," the other side can tell that you mean business.

Sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay. 52

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5.

Have patience.

Whoever is more flexible about time has the advantage. If the other negotiator is in a hurry, your patience will cause them to believe that you are not under pressure to conclude the deal. So what do they do? They offer concessions as a means of providing you with an incentive to say YES.

6.

Aim high and expect the best.

Successful negotiators are optimists. If you expect more, you'll get more. A proven strategy for achieving higher results is opening with an extreme position. Sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay.

7.

Focus on their pressure, not yours.

You will feel more powerful when you recognize the reasons for the other side to give in. Your negotiation power derives in part from the pressures on the other person.

8.

Help meet their needs.

Successful negotiators always look at the situation from the other side's perspective. If you help the other side to feel satisfied, they will be more inclined to help satisfy your needs. That

does not mean you should give in to all their positions. Satisfaction means that their basic interests have been fulfilled, not that their demands have been met.

The other negotiator will tell you everything you need to know – all you have to do is listen. Successful negotiators always look at the situation from the other side’s perspective.

9.

Give and receive.

Unilateral concessions are selfdefeating. Whenever you give something away, be sure to get something in return.

10.

Don’t get sidetracked.

All too often negotiations fail because one or both of the parties get sidetracked by personal issues or behaviors unrelated to the deal at hand. Successful negotiators focus on solving the problem: How can we conclude an agreement that respects the needs of both parties?


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[the last word]

Who are your heroes and why? Photo by Lock Photography

Rick Kendall Owner of Kendall Construction Rick Kendall began his career over 30 years ago and started Kendall Construction, Inc. in 1994. He has acheived a solid reputation as a speciality contractor and general contractor for quality construction by utilizing skilled carpenters and reputable subcontractors resulting in high customer satisfaction. Rick is a Topeka advocate and serves as a board member of the Topeka Independent Business Association.

I had two uncles that I always gave credit to for mentoring me when I was a kid. Though, the armed forces are full of true heroes every day.

You are celebrating 15 years in business, what makes Kendall Construction successful? I doubt there are any secrets there. We have learned from so many people in the area.

I don’t have anything

original to offer. So I guess, that means,

very stable in comparison. The most positive is the people (friends, family and business) we see every day. Plus we have a lot of great golf courses.

What is the best business advice you have been given? That is a tough toss up. 1. Treat your suppliers/vendors like customers (they do business with everyone in the business). 2. Keep your overhead down. That really rights true today.

we try to surround ourselves with good people and practices. Topeka has a lot to offer in that respect.

Why Topeka? (for you and your family and/or for the business) Sheri and I have really never considered anywhere else. This is the

What is something surprising that few people know about you? I have seven siblings and we all had the same math teacher at Holiday Jr. High – Bill Algabright.

right size population, traffic is light compared to many large cities and our family is here. The economy is

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photos by RACHEL LOCK PHOTOGRAPHY


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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine - Summer 2010  

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine - Summer 2010

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine - Summer 2010  

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine - Summer 2010